Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue and Minister for the Environment Eamon Ryan have published the first national bioeconomy action plan for the period 2023-2025.
The action plan will focus on bringing sustainable scientific practices, technologies, and bio-based innovation into use on farms and by bio-based industries in Ireland.
The bioeconomy is the production, utilisation and regeneration of bio-based materials to provide sustainable nature-based and bio-based solutions across all economic sectors.
It is a new approach to utilising the products, services, primary resources and wastes and side-streams from such sectors such as agri food and forestry more sustainably.
Bioeconomic policies offers opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the agri-food sector by replacing non-renewable, non-sustainable and fossil-based resources and processes with biological ones, from bio-fertilisers and bio-pesticides, to new food and feed sources, bio-based plastics and textiles and biological waste management.
The new Government action plan includes 33 actions across seven pillars:
Minister McConalogue said the action plan will allow farmers, foresters, fishers and agri-food companies to embed themselves in a “circular regenerative bioeconomy”.
“The bioeconomy offers a vast range of new opportunities, new business models, new value chains, and is a key element in the diversification of the sector in line with the ambitions set out in Food Vision 2030.
“From utilising grass for producing new sources of protein and fibre, to converting timber into composite wood products, or seaweed as ingredients in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical sectors, the possibilities are endless.
I have every confidence that this national action plan will help realise these opportunities and I urge all stakeholders to mobilise behind its implementation,” he said.
“Through the sustainable use of our natural resources, bioeconomy activities across all sectors of our economy can really help us to deliver on our climate ambition and will have a key role in achieving a climate neutral society,” added Minister Eamon Ryan.
The publication of the action plan, which can be accessed here, comes during Bioeconomy Ireland Week 2023, which sees a series of events held each October to highlight and raise awareness of Ireland’s bioeconomy.